Herb: Mountain Avens

Latin name: Dryas octopetala

Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Medicinal use of Mountain Avens:

The entire plant, harvested just before or at flowering time is astringent and digestive. An infusion is used as a stomach tonic, and also as a gargle for treating gingivitis and other disorders of the mouth and throat.

Description of the plant:


10 cm
(4 inches)

to July

Habitat of the herb:

Rocky places and high pastures, especially on limestone rocks.

Edible parts of Mountain Avens:

The leaves are used as a tea substitute.

Other uses of the herb:

The plant makes a good ground cover for spring bulbs, though it is not strongly weed suppressive. Slow-growing at first, it then forms a dense mat. Plants should be spaced about 30cm apart each way and they form a carpet, the branches rooting at intervals along the stems.

Propagation of Mountain Avens:

Seed - best sown in pots a shady cold frame or sheltered place outdoors as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed requires stratification and should be sown as soon as possible. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 12 months or more at 20C. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division of self-layered shoots in early spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in sharp sand in a frame.

Cultivation of the herb:

Rocky places and high pastures, especially on limestone rocks.

Known hazards of Dryas octopetala:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.